MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti)
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Activists from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen cut down a wooden crucifix in the center of the country’s capital, Kiev, on Friday in support of members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot whose trial on hooliganism charges comes to an end today.
A video posted online showed a topless blond Femen protester wearing red shorts, with the words “Free Riot” scrawled across her chest and arms, cutting the cross with a chainsaw and then pulling it down using a rope pulled by two other activists, and then posing with her arms extended crucifix-style.
The cross was put up on a high hill near Kiev’s downtown Independence Square during the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution to commemorate the victims of political repression under Joseph Stalin.
“By this act, Femen is calling on all the healthy forces of our society to mercilessly cut out of our brains the rotten religious prejudices which dictatorships rely upon and which prevent the development of democracy and women’s freedom,” the Segodnya daily quoted the activists as saying.
Femen gained notoriety by staging dozens of topless protests both in Ukraine and abroad over the past few years.
The activists warned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia that they would “turn the blade of our chainsaw” against those “responsible for the suffering of innocent women” if the Pussy Riot members are jailed.
Three Pussy Riot participants – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 – have been charged with hooliganism aimed at “inciting religious hatred” over their protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior on February 26, during which they performed a “punk prayer” calling on the Virgin Mary to “drive Putin out.”
The three women were arrested shortly after their performance. They say they were protesting against the Orthodox Church’s support for Putin ahead of the March 4 presidential elections, in which he won a third term in the Kremlin.
The verdict in the controversial trial, which has been condemned by Russian and international rights groups, is expected later on Friday. The protesters face three years in jail.
Ukrainian police have opened a criminal case on hooliganism charges against the Femen activists, punishable by up to four years in jail or up to five years of “restricted freedom” without imprisonment. None of the protesters have yet been arrested.
In December 2011, Femen activists staged a topless protest at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour screaming "God Turn Tsar Out!" The protest followed parliamentary elections in Russia on December 4, which the opposition said were mared by mass fraud in favor of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.
In July, a topless Femen activist attacked Patriarch Kirill during his visit to Ukraine. She ran up to the patriarch screaming "Get out" and tried to block his way as he was reportedly walking towards the press at Kiev Airport.
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- moistChristianity prime target when the jewish billionaire...14:47, 17/08/2012...Geörgy Shwartz aka George Soros give his marching orders. Dont expect his Ukrainian or Russian storm-truppen cut down a star of david against the israeli famine & genocide on Palestinians any time soon...
- bielecTotally stupid19:38, 17/08/2012Looking at the angle of the chainsaw cut, the bottom of the cross is going to slide down on her legs. They can't even do this right. But why topless? - The only reason is to atrack more public attention. It's all propaganda and a Jewish attack on Christianity and morality. ~moist is right, Soros' signature is all over it.
- mishkaUSrael has almost 350 millions of population.02:52, 19/08/2012My friends, Soros is just a man. Yes powerfull and rich but you should not consider he is responsible alone for all these awful acts. Attacks to religions and moral values. USrael is much much more crowded with many other billioners. I am a Moslim but I never even imagine to disrespect agaist Christianity or even Judaism. I live in Russia and I have always been very respectfull to religious symbols.
I agree with you not only my religion but also yours seems as a target for zionists. And I agree with you bielec, she so so stupid to cut it with wrong angle. I noticed too. And we may understand their -so few- worth to feel themselves they need to exhibit their bodies to be considered. They should know themselves better. So they need to be nude otherwise everybody ignores them with their insufficient minds and ideas perhaps.
Iran has been a central Russian ally in the Middle East, despite considerable tensions between the two. But by renewing dialogue with the West, the new Iranian leadership has chosen another direction. The shifting terrain in the region creates new strategic, political and economic challenges for Russia.